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The potholes are so bad on a stretch of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway that the speed limit was lowered

The speed limit on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway has been lowered to 40 mph between Maryland routes 197 and 32 to calm traffic and give drivers more time to react to poor road conditions, according to the National Park Service.

Despite placing more than 60 tons of specialized asphalt to patch potholes on the parkway, the Park Service reports the roadway continued to deteriorate, particularly last month.

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“We know this is a frustrating situation for drivers who rely on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway,” Park Service Superintendent Matt Carroll said.

The Park Service is in its eighth year of a 10-year full repaving of the highway. It has repaved the section from the Washington boundary at New York Avenue, north to the Patuxent River Bridge near the Route 197 interchange. Repaving from routes 197 to 198 is scheduled for the fall, and the rest will be completed in 2021.

The Park Service blamed the “extensive pothole hazards” on record rain in 2018, multiple freeze-thaw cycles this winter and difficulty keeping patches on roads during snow plowing.

“All of these factors have contributed to the deterioration of driving conditions through the Greater Washington area,” the Park Service said.

It’s not the only disruption to the highway. In Baltimore, a $40 million project to replace three aging bridges over the parkway is expected to cause traffic delays on the parkway and in nearby neighborhoods until early 2023.

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